Background

Frank Hicks SC was called to the Bar in 2003 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2017. He is generally briefed in commercial matters, and primarily engaged in technology and construction disputes concerning commercial, industrial and infrastructure projects, mining, energy and renewable energy projects, and large-scale residential developments. 

Hicks SC has been briefed to appear in the Federal Court, and in the courts and tribunals of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT. In addition, he has appeared in domestic and international arbitrations, and advised and appeared in other forms of alternate dispute resolution, including mediation and expert determination.

Since 2014, Hicks SC has been ranked by Doyles Guide as a leading junior and senior counsel in construction law, in both NSW and Australia. Since 2015, he has been identified in the Chambers and Partners Guide, Asia-Pacific as a Band 1 barrister in Australia for construction and infrastructure disputes and a top new silk for 2018. Further in 2018, he was recognised in Best Lawyers in Australia for Construction/Infrastructure.

From 1996 to 2002, he was employed at Clayton Utz, Sydney, and was appointed Senior Associate in the Disputes division of the Construction & Major Projects Group in 2000. From 1993 to 1996, he was a solicitor with Marsdens, where he worked in general litigation in Campbelltown and Sydney.

Hicks SC is a current contributing editor of Thomson Reuters‘ Commercial Arbitration Service and has been published in the Building and Construction Law Journal. In 2006, he completed the updating and editing of Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Building and Construction title. Further, he has given many presentations for Building and Construction Disputes Workshops, NSW Young Lawyers CLE seminars, UNSW Legal Seminars and local Law Society CLE seminars. In September 2011, he presented an assessment of the law and risks associated with coal seam gas exploration and extraction (fracking) for the NSW Claims Discussion Group.

Frank Hicks SC has a deep interest in the law as to expert evidence, particularly with regards to delay, disruption and programming for construction projects, engineering issues (structural, geotechnical and civil) and architectural / design services.

Outside of the law, he enjoys cricket, rugby (union and league), horse racing and fine music.



Focus Areas + Select Cases

Downer Constructions (PNG) v The State of Papua New Guinea – International arbitration in respect of claims for additional monies for delay and variations arising out of the construction of the Ramu Highway in PNG. Proceedings heard before an international arbitral tribunal in Brisbane. Amount in issue: approximately $A40M.

Dematic v Nedcon Magazijninrichting – International arbitration arising out of the design, fabrication, supply and construction of a regional storage and distribution facility in Queensland. Proceedings heard before an international arbitral tribunal in Sydney. Amount in issue: approximately $20M.

AE&E Australia Pty Ltd v Sino Iron Pty Ltd – Arbitration proceedings concerning claims and counter claims arising out of the design, construction, and commissioning of a combined cycle power plant for mining activities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Proceedings heard before an arbitral tribunal in Perth. Amount in issue: approximately $225M.

Walker Group Constructions ats Tzaneros – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects in concrete pavements at a trade and transport terminal facility at Molineaux Point, Port Botany. Amount in issue: approximately $15M.

Redpath Australia Pty Limited v Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Limited NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims and counter claims for monies and damages arising out of underground or sub-level cave mining operations at Mt Lyell, Tasmania. Amount in issue: approximately $40M.

Stockland Trust Management Ltd v Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning disputes and claims arising out of a contract for the refurbishment and expansion of Townsville Shopping Centre in North Queensland. Amount in issue: approximately $50M. 

Brookfield Multiplex ats The Owners of Strata Plan 74602 & Anor [2015] NSWSC 1916NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects and associated loss in respect of a high rise residential development known as the Beau Monde in North Sydney comprising 241 strata apartments. Amount in issue: approximately $45M.


In addition, Frank Hicks has appeared in many cases concerning the operation and effect of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) and the validity of adjudication determinations in the NSW Supreme Court and the NSW Court of Appeal, including Minister for Commerce v Contrax Plumbing (NSW) Pty Ltd & Ors, Dualcorp Pty Ltd v Remo Constructions Pty Ltd and Clyde Bergemann v Varley Power.

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